There’s little I like better than saying goodbye to winter. I took the snow we had after Easter as a personal insult. But finally, it’s here!

BW and I hit our nursery—Sunny Meadows is one of my favorite places. Not only because this trip means SPRING, but everything is so beautiful, so well tended. Everyone there is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Can’t ask for better.

A truckload later, we’re home, and I get the fun job of setting plants out. What should go where, maybe move that over there instead. I went for a lot of hot colors this year in my annuals. I guess I wanted the vivid and bold. Up and down the garden wall, over to the shady spot.


I’m trying a few Aquapots this year—only water once a week or so. We’ll see how that works.

Now we dig and dig, and dig.

A couple weeks ago, we spent a day digging UP. I love Black-eyed Susans, but jeez! I’m tired of them taking over bed after bed, so up tons of them come. Give them away, transplant, stick some in bare spots, all fine, but now I have two full beds to fill with color.

No longer will the Susies sneak into my herb bed and crowd out my rosemary.

Such fun.

By the end of the day, I see gaps, and make a list. I know what I want, so the next morning after a workout, I head back and fill the back of my car with flats.

Another full day, feeling the sunshine, hearing the birds, watching the gardens and pots come to life.

One more day, just a couple hours, then I make myself a well-deserved Bellini, and walk all around. Ahhhh!

Now we get to watch things grow and spread and bloom.

We’re already fighting the deer, and on my walk to take pictures, I find a geranium pulled out on the patio. PARKER!! Those geranium-filled whiskey barrels are the only planters we don’t have on stands because of Parker’s desperate need to pull out a plant and leave it dying on the ground.

We’ll figure something. At least he’d apparently just done it, so no casualties. Yet.

I’ll go out and dump some cayenne pepper in there, though that doesn’t seem to discourage him very much.

But mostly, I’m just going to enjoy.

Hope everyone in this hemisphere enjoys the rebirth of spring.


38 thoughts on “Springing”

  1. I’m getting ready to plant vegetables. I put some little pretties in my flower beds last week. Im in Southern California, and it’s been windy here. No snow, thank goodness. I love planting season!!!

  2. I just started re-reading “Blue Dahlia” so your post today is totally in sync with that story…plus Parker the dog in both. Fun! Enjoy your new plantings and the bird song. 🙂

  3. I’ve been doing cleanout for weeks at the house where my boys live that used to be my grandparents’ house, and now working on my own, but the things I’ll plant in the empty spots have to wait till it’s a bit warmer–tomatoes, annual herbs. After we get through Mother’s Day, then I can go wild. 🙂

  4. I’ll do this in May, but just a few pots. Don’t have a large area to play with. Yours is looking lovely.

  5. I can see it now, we’ll have a spring signing and NR will be giving away Susans with every book 😂

  6. Your gardens are just beautiful, even starting out. You do such a beautiful job. I was just starting to worry if Parker didn’t survive the winter, then laughed out loud at your exclamation. A friend of mine leaves one of her oak barrels bare, just full of dirt, and that (so far) makes her dog happy for a place to sit and leave the other plantings alone. Our spring is taking its sweet time showing up this year. I’m far enough south that it’s mostly wind and an occasional rain, but still cold enough to wait. It’s common to wait until Mother’s Day at least, sometimes Memorial Day before putting out the more fragile plants here in Colorado. My bulbs are showing a bit, which is cheerful to see. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Nora, you have a terrific garden. I don’t have deer but I do have squirrels and they do quite a bit of damage too. They love to rip out most bulbs except lilies. It’s great to get outside finally and see what is going on after a long, long winter. I hope you post more garden updates soon!

  8. We can’t plant here (eastern Oregon) yet for a few more weeks – too much danger of frost. But then watch out!!

    We had snow after Easter, too – a whole week of waking up to fresh snow every morning.

    I envy and admire your strength and stamina in all the work you do around your place. It’s SO beautiful! 🙂

  9. Your garden is always beautiful. It’s admirable that you take such pride in it when you could probably hire a service to do it. The fact that you are so down to earth (pun intended) is just one of the many reasons we enjoy your updates!
    Looking forward to seeing or hearing about your grandchildren!

  10. How inspiring! I have seedlings all doing well inside right now. Should be able to start moving them outside in a couple of weeks. Did tomatoes from seed last year and I had to cut them back as they were hitting the balcony above mine. I can’t wait to start working on pots outside!

    I was wondering where you got the dancer on your wall? Would love something like that for my sister, who has 2 gorgeous ballerinas, to put in her back garden.

    Thank you for all your hard work and inspiration.


  11. Frabjous!

    Our first warm day, but I am canny enough here in Western NY not to believe it will last!!

    Your yard is beyond fabulous!

  12. This weekend we cleaned up and readied our flower beds for spring. It’s fun to see new growth coming up in the dirt. In MI. our spring bulbs are getting ready pop and I’m making plans on what to plant next weekend. Happy gardening Nora.

  13. My sister and I are working on doing some raised vegetable beds and flower pots this year. It’s our first spring in our own house, so we’re pretty jazzed to get to work. I’m not generally a garden/yard work type of person, but it sure hits differently when it’s yours and not someone else’s yard.

  14. Your gardens are the only reason I would consider leaving NYC for. How divine!! But how can I leave? I might bump into Roarke on the street. I haven’t bumped into a single possibility yet, and I’m born & bred here but there’s always tomorrow.
    I laughed at the line where you did your workout first. What discipline you have. I admire it. As if bending down, repotting and digging are not a workout??

  15. Looks gorgeous – I’m a little jealous! We’ve got at least another week until it’s safe to plant here, except for pansies. And we have a new pup; hopefully not a Parker-plant-puller! Oh and the groundhog came by and decapitated all my tulips, leaving the petals on the ground.

  16. Nora, I love looking at your pots & beds & so envious that you’re out working in them already! Here in SW Ohio, too early to be planting the annuals; in fact, it’s almost time to move the potted hostas that over-wintered in the garage out to the breezeway. The geraniums & hanging pots that I enjoy all winter in the house won’t go out for a few weeks yet at least!
    We’re looking at possible frost or freeze middle of the week & after hitting low 80’s yesterday & today! Boy, did that pop everything out–redbuds & other flowering trees are in full bloom, the daffodils are starting to finish up & the regular trees are showing their leaves. Now we pray the fruit trees survive!
    I’ve always been told, no tender plants out till after Mother’s Day; last year we had a hard freeze on May 21st. Fingers so crossed for this year!

  17. We have a small yard, but not fully fenced so the raised veggie beds, blueberry bushes, three of the flower gardens, and some of the day lily beds are all fenced themselves to minimize snacking. The deer are ridiculous in our neighborhood. And the blue berry bushes and veggies get bird netting, too, at least until the berries are picked and the seeds are actual plants. It’s definitely a challenge. Enjoy watching your gardens bloom!

  18. I’m a little “green” with envy. Too cold here in Minnesota to do any planting yet. Praying like crazy for spring to arrive up North. Glad to hear you are enjoying the sun.

  19. Always fun to read about your spring planting. I’m rereading the In the Garden trilogy right now and am on Red Lily. It seemed the right reread at this time!

  20. I have had tremendous success with keeping all types of an8mals out of my flowers by cutting up chunks for Irish spring soap and putting the chunks in the dirt! Last quite a while and my flowers are saved! Might help you!

  21. Thanks for the treat of your gardens, always such a peaceful trip. I enjoy your stories, both real and written…looking forward to Nightworks.

  22. Love the garden! It’s always nice to see when put out your spring plantings and share it with us. I also love all of the Statues that you have. I have to agree about the Black Eye Susan’s. A friend of mine gave me some a few years ago when she was cleaning out her beds. She neglected to mention how much they love to spread. I also Have another plant that does something similar (Jenny jump-up’s I think they are called not sure) I have really rocky soil so I don’t do a lot of beds but I love to container garden. I haven’t put a lot of my annuals yet but now seeing your plantings looks like I will be heading to the nursery and big box home improvement store soon. Thanks again for sharing this with us

    1. Cindy, I’m thinking they’re what we call Johnny Jump Ups & are small violas, very similar to pansies. Love them every year, but yes, they are a bit invasive. However, while I’ve had both black-eyed susans & johnny jump ups invade over the years, after a few years, they died out. Never did figure out why; I was still enjoying them!

      1. Thank KC
        I really didn’t know exactly what they were called. My grandma always called them johnny jump ups.

  23. Good luck with the gardens. Living in an apartment I no longer have a garden. I loved growing vegetables.

  24. I live in an apartment but by balcony is a nice size & faces south. I grow some hardy herbs & flowers in several containers.

  25. Although I am not a gardener, I love reading about your spring exploits. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing photos again soon.

  26. Nora, (or Laura if she knows),

    What’s engraved on that stone bench?

  27. Bev here from Australia, wish l had a nice garden, wish l could garden. I have a habit of killing PLASTIC plants so real ones are definitely not safe around me LOL. Happy gardening everyone

  28. Still too early to plant here, so I really enjoy your garden posts. Gets me itching to get started. Our puppy is a terror with the potted plants, so we ditched them last summer & I’m planning lots more hanging baskets for this year.

    I envy you your ability to make things grow! I have a “black thumb”. My grandmother, mother, daughter and now granddaughter, could make anything grow. All I have to do is look at a plant and it dies! My daughter has a plant I gave her & her husband for their anniversary several years ago. Now they have about 15-20 other plants hanging on back & front porches that are offshoots from that one! The 1 offshoot I tried to raise died. Oh well!
    I can grow herbs. I use a hydroponic system. That seems to work OK for me.
    Keep us updated with pictures over the Spring and Summer please?

  30. Hi Nora, What fun you are having planting. We are a ways away yet here in Alberta Canada. Thinking of your deer problem. Not just sure how much property you have but I thought what if you planted a space for them away from your gardens? Plant their favorite foods for them to munch on and keep them happy. Who knows could work. Look for ward to plant pictures

  31. Beautiful gardens and pots. Too cold yet by me for planting. Got love Parker, but no loss of the geraniums. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Love your gardens. But really head over heels with your garden sculptures. From the dancer to that fantastic dragon all add that special touch.

  33. Sounds like you had fun, and the result is your beautiful garden. Spring has sprung!

  34. Nora your magical garden is something to behold. 🤗🌈 here in Eastbourne UK. It is still quite cold but we have had some lovely sunshine. I have planted three of my long troughs with Lupins And one with my favourite lavender. My fuschias are coming g along nicely.🤗 love your Dragon 🐉and faeries.🤗

  35. Everything looks lovely. Thanks Nora for these glimpses into your life. It’s fun to see despite your success/wealth you continue to enjoy doing so many simple things that your readers do as well — gardening, cooking, family time… and the not so fun chores of decluttering and purging.

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